Haleakala downhill bike tours suspended !

Oct 4th, 2007, 03:30 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 287
Good point about the lawsuits, SAB. In fact, the National Park Service lost one in 2004 involving a drowning in the Kipahulu section of Haleakala National Park. The judgment was for $2.3 million.
hawaiifanatic is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 03:41 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 266
2 of my sons and I rode down Haleakala to Paia this summer. I had not ridden a bike in years, and I'm sure the tour operator thought my seat in the van would not be cold before I would have to quit - or worse wreck - and be back in the van. I did EXACTLY what the guide told me to do, and it was a fabulous adventure. I would do it again so sorry this may not be an option. However, there were people on our tour in much better shape than me and definitely a lot younger who didn't follow the guide's instructions and almost created problems for other riders.
Momof3boys is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 06:01 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 109
The bottom line is the ride is a GAMBLE. Experienced bikers are hurt on these rides too. By now you guys know my story, if not click my name and read some of my previous posts on this subject. Injured folks are not limited to the young, elderly, or "people that had no business on the rides to begin with". Oh...and for what it's worth...my DH was injured while on an ALOHA BIKE TOUR. One of the tours that starts OUTSIDE THE PARK. I wish the suspension had farther reaching implications.

I have not gone all the way and supported bans, but I do support this suspension, while they investigate the rides. If not for the reason of keeping people safe then for the reason of preserving a beautiful, magical place that seems to have fallen victim to a tourist CIRCUS.

I truly worry for the folks that post they'd do the ride again if given the chance. Well, for their sake, I hope their luck holds out.
sofee is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 09:28 PM
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The economic reality is that tourism is Hawaii's #1 industry, bringing in some $12 billion a year to the state. These economics---that help create the "tourist circus"---put pressure on safety issues. There will be economic pressure regarding the bike rides. It will surprise me if they are banned completely.
hawaiifanatic is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 09:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 921
There's always risk in the outdoors. Lawyers screw it up, remember the guy who filed a suit because he left his tent in Yellowstone (I think) for a pee and fell over a cliff ? Now he's suing saying his "wilderness" campsite should've had a safety rail. Moron.
pspercy is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 11:49 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
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I think the ban was necessary. My husband and I drove down this road and couldn't believe people were actually riding their bikes right next to our car on this type of road. The worst part is that it wasn't just one bike...of course since it's a tour it's a lot of bikes.

Not only were the bicyclists taking a big risk, we also felt that on a road like this, if a car swerves to try to avoid hitting a bicyclist who is in trouble, the car could have an accident as well. The road is too steep and too curvy and too narrow to allow both cars and bicycle tours on the same road.

Melissa5 is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 12:52 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 868
what happened to the bill that was supposed to make maui bike tours increase their insurance requirements? while the industry has gained popularity, safety measures have also increased. what more can they do?

although suspending bike tours to undergo further investigation can prevent accidents for the time being, putting a ban on swimming in the ocean will not happen. who would listen? my brother for one wouldnít. the beaches now considered unswimmable were not when i was a kid. but with the increase in pop, so did drownings. thereís a lot of unmanned beaches. generally speaking, families of victims sued, got a settlement b/c itís the stateís fault there were not signs. signs were posted, people drowned, families sued, got paid b/c the signs were not placed where they can see them. more signs were posted. still, lawyers will find a loophole (such as client canít read signs in english). and dollars put out for settlements is cheaper than building more lifeguard stands, buying trucks/equipment, maintenance, training programs and hiring more lifeguards.

i didnít hear about the one at yellowstone but i do recall a similar lawsuit in maui where a man fell off the cliff, family sued b/c the sign was not visible. i think he fell at night.
kauai_aka is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 12:55 AM
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Posts: 868
excuse all the typos.
kauai_aka is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 08:39 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 287
Talk to safety experts in Hawaii and they'll tell you people don't read the signs. One lifeguard told me the story of a woman he rescued from a rip current. Back on the beach, he asked her: "Didn't you see the sign?" Her response was: "What sign?" He noticed that as she left the beach and grabbed her towel that it was thrown over a sign warning about rip currents.
hawaiifanatic is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2009, 10:00 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 8
The downhill bike tours are very dangerous. There have been at least 12 deaths and 1000's of accidents. Once you get hurt if is difficult to get the companies to even respond to you. See Maui News. Search their data. base. The ER at Maui Memorial sees up to 6 people per week.
The safer companies are Haleakala Bike, and Maui Sunriders. These are what is called the "independent tours." You go at your own pace. The guided tours are the most dangerous as they often rush down the hill so they can finish their jobs and go home. The vast majority of locals hate these companies and road rage is common. The bike vans illegally block the roadways and this leads to frustration and anger. Check out www.bikemauisafety.com. Also youtube video. Type in downhill bike tours on Maui.
Macheteman is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2009, 10:42 PM
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Posts: 287
Nice work putting together that informative website!
hawaiifanatic is offline  
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